unpalatable, unhealthful and monotonous cookery. Considering our resources, and the vaunted education and intelligence of American women, this reproach is just. Our kitchens are, in fact, almost abandoned to the control of low Irish, stupid negroes, and raw servile menials that pour in upon us from various foreign countries. And, what is worse, there is a general acquiescence in this state of things, as if it were something fated, and relief from it hopeless and impossible. We profess to believe in the potency of education, and are applying it to all other interests and industries excepting only that fundamental art of the preparation and use of food to sustain life which involves more of economy, enjoyment, health, spirits, and the power of effective labor, than any other subject that is formally studied in the schools. We abound in female seminaries and female colleges, and high-schools, and normal schools, supported by burdensome taxes, in which everything under heaven is studied except that practical art which is a daily and vital necessity in all the households of the land.
Acquiescence in this state of things as something permanent and irremediable is no longer possible. If, as Rumford says, cookery is an art of civilized nations, it must improve with the advance of civilization. It is undoubtedly the most backward of all the arts, and various causes conspire to its continued neglect. But, whatever the difficulties to be overcome, the time has arrived when the advance of intelligence and the spirit of improvement must invade that last stronghold of traditional stupidity, the kitchen. Nor are the difficulties of doing this by any means so great as is commonly supposed; they will vanish as soon as the task of alleviation and amendment is earnestly undertaken. As soon as thought and cultivation are brought to bear upon the domestic operations of the kitchen, they will be elevated in the common respect, and a most formidable impediment will thus be removed. American women have been driven out of the kitchen because all its associations are degrading, and they demand education as a preparation for all those other activities to which educations leads. When the art of cookery becomes a matter of intelligent study, so that its practice will no longer be a badge of debasement and humiliation, occupation will be sought and honored in this field as elsewhere. The establishment of cooking-schools is, therefore, in the direct line of our domestic amelioration and emancipation. They are already, as we have said, established, and, considering the embarrassments of an initial movement of this kind, are in most successful operation. Though at present narrow in their scope, they will develop and widen so as to afford a training in the broader field of general household activity; but we are well content with what has been already gained. The South Kensington Cooking-School, in London, is a normal school for training teachers to go out and take charge of other schools in different parts of the country. How successful this institution has been may be inferred from the fact that it has already given us the best practical cook-book that we now have. We call attention to the notice of this work in the following pages, from which the reader will gather some interesting information as to what has been accomplished on the other side of the Atlantic in relation to this important subject, and which will afford important hints for carrying out a similar work in the United States.
Of all the applications of science to the practical arts, there is none that can for a moment bear comparison with its application to the art of teaching. Scientific education, as currently understood, refers to something of greatly inferior importance: it means instruc-